Jean-François Marmontel

1723 (Bort-les-Orges, France) – 1799 (Saint-Aubin-sur-Gaillon)

Marmontel, whose neighbour was Jefferson, wrote articles on literature for Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie that are still highly regarded. He wrote to Voltaire after an early literary rebuff, starting a friendship of 35 years. Voltaire expressed his anger at the banning of Marmontel’s play ‘Bélisaire’ for its religious liberalism. He was a frequent guest of d’Épinay, a student of Quesnay’s in his writing workshop, and having met Rameau, wrote four operatic libretti for him.